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Circle Hooks - tell all your friends!

24 posts in this topic

Aquaman,

What are your recommendations on how to fish these hooks? I've heard a few theories, but how were you using them? ie were you just pulling the line tight after the fish hit? or something else.


Tight Lines!

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Great hooks! I used circle hooks to bring in a couple walleye this past weekend. I fish them like any other hook. You can let the fish take it for awhile and they will never (at least for me) swallow it. Always a nice hook set in the lips.

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I agree with Aqua on the circle hooks... I hated them when I first started using them, but have grown to like them. You just have to remember not to reef into them... It took a little while for me to hold off on the hookset and work them correctly. I just raise my rod tip up when I detect a bite until I feel some tension and then I use a gradual sweep up, keeping the line tight the entire time. Once I feel he's on there solid, I do give it a medium set to make sure I have the point in him. This also allows you to keep the bait near the fish if he drops it - if I don't feel him on, I just let the bait fall back down and a lot of times they will grab it. If your reefing into them with a regular hook, a lot of times you will spook the fish on the hook set if you miss him, and/or your bait will no longer be in the strike zone.

They always are hooked, always, in the corner of the mouth. Very nice for C&R.

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I have been using circle hooks for cats for years with very positive results. I have slowly been mixing them into my walleye setups with good results. The hardest thing to do was quit *setting* the hook immediately and wait for considerable resistance on the line. I have also found its more important to have a super-sharp hook with the circle than with conventional hooks.

Fish rarely swallow the circle hooks BUT, on occasion they still do. I have run into walleyes swallowing them more than any other specie .. which is still rare, but happens.

My last outing as of a couple days ago for walleyes I had 2 fish swallow the hook out of 13 on a troll with no-stretch line and a crawler feeding no line... what can I say, when they're hungry, they're hungry.

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My friends were PO'd when I had them using them, garunteed to outfish them with a Kahle!!! They are the greatest thing ever for C&R because most folks will hook far fewer fish. May work well on a trotline or a commercial longline. I've tried them on many species and many rods/line combinations and will NEVER use them again myself.

I'm not saying that you can't get fish on them, but other style hooks I find hook more fish everytime I've used or seen Circle hooks used. Kahle style hook also gets them in the corner of the mouth just as often.

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-23-2003).]

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Two of my sons finally got me [kicking and screaming] to use circle hooks for Channel Cats. It took me a while to stop the big hook set. My cat rod has a soft tip, so I now leave it setting in the forked stick, watching the tip, until the cat tries to pull it into the river, then grab and reel.
I have a question for Backwater Eddy or any of the other cat experts; I've been using 4/0 size circle hooks for cats. Are these big enough for the giant cats, or do I have to find bigger ones? I had a rough time just finding these.If I need bigger, where do I look?

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Jpz,
Looks like folks answered your question pretty well. Just steady, taught pressure until it catches.

------------------
Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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This past weekend my kids & I caught and released about 25 - 30 fish from The Upper Mississippi; smallies, catfish, carp, sucker, walleye. We used #6 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hooks with a 1/2 crawler threaded on. Walleye size octopus hooks with a circle point, pinched barbless.

Not a single gut, throat or gill hooked fish, and more hook-ups than "worm thiefs".

Some other guy came in with a 5 or 6 lb. channel cat, and asked me if I wanted it. I said no, and he released this fish, bleeding from it's gills, into the river to die. I know those things happen, but if a simple choice of hooks can decrease needless mortality - I'm all for it. Try some, and then tell your friends.

------------------
Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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icehousebob

Great to see you folks catching on to the benifits of circle hooks, they work well for many things.

I use circle hooks for all 4 seasons now. They work wonders on panfish too guys! They have been the "da-in-thang" on many deep perch lakes the past few winters. wink.gif

Sizes for kittys Eh?

I use mostly Gamakatsu octopus style circle hooks and they may range from 4's to 10 O/T.

For average sized cats I will go for 6-7 O/T hooks, they hook up very well.

For most big cat action I like the 7 O/T model, and the 8 O/T and may venture up to the 10 O/T.

Gamakatsu has a few new models of Hooks out, very cool. I like the new straight-eye circle hook model, the G-Singer, and the Big River Hooks.
g_sting_grid2.jpg
See some possabilitys here guys? These G-Stingers will be a HOT item this season!

Them Big River Hooks are one mean Mother 10 O/T supper piggy pullers made to drag anything with fins out of the worst cover around.
bigriver_m.gif
I have been after the Gamakatsu folks to get 6-8 O/T models out in the Big River Hooks soon, that will be a super hook for Flatheads and sumo channels.

They were testing them Big River Hooks in South America last season for HUGE Amazon kittys, they can run 2-3-4 hundred pounds...or better down there.
piraiba.jpg
br_038.jpg
They suspect some of them big cats may go 1000 or more. So far nobody can stop the really big Amazon cats, they just drag the boat, bust the rods, or spool ya. YUP.....them's some Big mean kittys!

Another good hook is the Eagle Claw FeatherLight circle hook. These are not as tough as a Gamakatsu, but they are very light and well suited for walleye, perch, bass, and pike. They may snap under the presure of big cats, but for walleye they do very well. A very good hook stylr for slip-floats or long Lindy rigs. Because they are light they work well for crawlers with a shot of air, they float well.

VMC has good circles in the mid-range sizes, just darn high priced is all. The VMC size chart and the Gamakatsu charts are way different. Most circle hooks are wacky in sizes from one company to another. A 6 O/T Gamakatsu is twise the size as a 6 O/T VMC, keep that in mind.

One big tip I can give you on circle hooks, more like two really. Is Do-NOT fill the gap of the hook up with bait! If you do, you will miss hits for sure.

The second is use circle hooks that have a gap at least twice the size of the lips of the fish you wish to target, or expect to run into. The wider gap of the hook is key to hooking up as it is designed to do.

Hope this helps.

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

get_file.html?mid=172

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 06-24-2003).]

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which size do you recomend for walleyes?

Do you think these type of hooks would be helpful as well, for the rookie (me) walleye fisherman, to get MORE hookups?

when useing one with a lindy rig, do you still use the same teqniques, feel bite, let a little line out, let a little line out, etc., etc.,?

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Rod selection is key too. You wish to use a longer med action rod to allow the load to build and the hook to do it's thing all on it's own.

What you basicly do is see the bite, allow the rod to load up with preassure, then reel. Keep the preasure constant and you and the rod will get the fish to the net with no complications.

Circle hooks are a very easy system for anyone to get on to. Easier for newcomers because they do not have the emediate urge to SET THE HOOK like Roland Marten wenching in a HOG. Just reel and keep that pressure on is all it takes.

They excell for deep water snells because the fish turns and it's all over with but the reeling in. Even if the bait is in the gut, it will slip out to the corner of the mouth and hook-up once you reel. If you jerk it, it will pop out too fast and often it will miss the mark.

An easy system for low stress fishing, just let it do it's job tell it is time to do yours.

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Thanks Ed.
About the size though? Heh.
I use 6' med action rods.

what about when useing crawlers?
Should a guy go with the single circle hook, or replace the ones on your crawler harness with the circles.

Which leads me to another question, if you use just one hook for your crawlers for walleyes, should you pinch the thing about in half so it aint so long?

thanks alot

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Don't know about for walleye, but for small cats, bass & roughs we were threading the 1/2 crawler through the carwler's open end and onto the hook right up and around the curve, shank and over the eye. The circle was great for this, 'cause the point wouldn't pop out & rip up the crawler. I put most of the crawler up and over the hook-shank, with about 1.5" past the "J".

Because these hooks aren't something that you set, but wait on, they are great for little kids. I don't want to ruin a wee one's outing with constant instructions like "SET THE HOOK!!! NOW! NOW! Awwwwww Darn it - got away." and you have a disappointed and possibly jangled kid on your hands wondering if maybe this fishing stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be. Nope. I like a nice simple "Kids - fish on."

Eddy - Maybe the fast tip on my river rod explains why I have gotten the bait-spitter outers...the rod may be pulling it out of their mouths. I was using #1 Featherlite circles, and Dennis gave me some of those 6 O/T hooks, as well. So, if I have a more limber tip, the circle will have a better chance of hooking itself, eh? Okay, I'll get a noodlier stick, like something a little sumo-birdy told me, a ReFlex - for channels.

------------------
Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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Rod action is a big deal on circles. I have become big fan of E-Glass because of its loading caricaturists. Lamaglass is great too, glass rods can be shaped/tuned by the builder to get the action needed.

With Glass you get a graduated load, steady pressure that spooks less fish. I even went to using 7' med Berkley Re-Flex rods to troll Super-Braids when running cranks. That is a very good match in my opinion.

Crawler harnesses have seen a lot of circles in recent years. Some rig them all circles, others rig the back hooks only with circles. Tiny circles have been a hot deal for leaches too, they hold well and are light.

In general Quick Set type hooks need more backbone (Slow Action) to get that ZAP. Circles take a little faster action in the top 1/3 of the rod to slip the hook home stealthily.

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

get_file.html?mid=172

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 06-25-2003).]

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Thanks, I found the thread.
are there any advantages to the kahle compared to the octopus other than getting more hookups in the corner of the mouth?
thanks

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Octopus style hooks have an offset eye and work best with a snell knot to get a straight pull, they're kind of a pain to tie. Most Kahle style hooks have an eye aligned with the shank and you can use your regular easy to tie palomar, clinch knots, ect. Being you were interested in hook selection for Walleye fishing I'd suggest for lindy rigs and spinner fishing snell the octopus style hooks. Use the Kahle style for slipbobber'n, they'd probably work rigging too, but I would'nt use them on spinner rigs.

Fisky

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-29-2003).]

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Glad to hear it, becasue thats what I bought.
thanks

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Every one has their own opinions on hooks and mine is that they are the greatest thing since bread and butter.You just have to have the pateince to use them.Like Ed said your rod is a key to this.Slow action and slow tension on your line will hook the fish and yes right in the corner of the mouth.Do not be tempeted in setting the hook and if you do pick up the rod it MUST be a SLOW up sweep motion on the rod.Your not setting the hook, just tightening the line and thats all.FISH ON!I used to be a big fan of kahle style hooks but after I learned how to use circles properly,circles are by far my favorite hook in some situations.I have used them below slip foats and on lindy rigs and of course bottom rigs for channel cats.I miss far fewew fish these days.
Just sit back and relax and try to learn something new(and very easy smile.gif).

------------------
Minnesota River Guided Fishing
"fishhead"
fishheadds@yahoo.com
www.mnriverguidedfishing.com

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I Know its a matter of opinion and the person using them , but a guy at scheels talked me out of the circles for walleye,
he said him and a friend were fishing Mil lacs, and his buddy missed like 10 fish before he changed hooks.
He said he could let that wally take it for about a half hour (exageration) and you'd still pull the thing out of its mouth.

Feed back?
thanks

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.

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 06-29-2003).]

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Well, I fished the Red River from shore for cats for a coon's age, and used Kahle and Tru-turn hooks until circle hooks came out.

I was reluctant to switch, but was glad I was willing to try something new and stay with it long enough to give it a real chance.

I had great luck with them. I not only hooked more cats, but releasing them was easier because they were caught in the corner of the mouth or, once in awhile, through the bottom lip.

And coupled with the teardrop-shaped flat 3 oz slip sinkers, my snags were cut more than 75 percent. Many nights I only lost one rig, or none at all. Tough to hook wood or rock with a circle hook!

Caught a few walleyes on them while fishing for cats with cut sucker in the fall, too.

Principle is (and if someone already said this, sorry), the fish takes the bait and begins the swallowing process as it turns away. As you tighten the line (if the fish already hasn't done so), the hook works its way back up toward the front of the fish's mouth and the physics of the shape of the hook drive it into the corner of the mouth.

Yep, I've found the E-glass rods, with their slower action, make it easier to slowly load the rod, although if you have a stiffer graphite it's still completely workable with practice.

I usually set up two rods with Ambassadeur 6500s on them and the spool released and clicker on, with the rod pointing at the water. Fish picks up the bait, clicker goes off as fish swims away, pick up the rod, engage the spool, let the line tighten, and sweep SLOWLY to the side. Leaving the spool free to revolve is important, and the clicker will keep a fast fish from backlashing you. Aggressive cats will hook themselves on an engaged spool, but the neutral fish will drop the bait if they feel much resistance, and a circle hook works best if the fish has already turned away and the bait is on it's way down the gullet.

FISH ON!


------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
stfcatfish@yahoo.com

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 06-28-2003).]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 06-28-2003).]

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I will probably give them a try when and if I find a hot walleye bite one of these days.

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Sounds like the hook gap was filled up if he kept missing fish, or he tried to set it like Roland Martin Shiner? Ohhhhhh...Son!

Matching hook size to the bait offering is also key.

My personal rule for sizing circle hooks is to use a circle 1-2 times larger then the same size conventional hook you would use in the same fishing situation.

You need that gap open to allow the circle to function well. Too small a gap, or too full with bait, and it will not catch hold as it hits the corner of the mouth.

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Circle hooks are great for using with kids. I taught my kids to reel slowly until they feel fish is hooked. They have very few gut hooks and they unhook the fish themselves- hey I get to fish too. I have been using them on panfish.

The biggest thing about using them is not pulling the hook out of the mouth. A jerk will pull it out. A steady pull sets its.
I use VMC now sold under the Rapala name.

[This message has been edited by Justfishing (edited 07-10-2003).]

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